Musings on the Space, Writing, Vampires and Spring

amazing stories guy with 2 girls

 

 

 

Yesterday I found myself inspired to write science fiction.

 

Red Planet: Chapter One

Sure we all volunteered with a capital V but we didn’t know we’d be stuck a billion miles from home with a bunch of assholes.

 

Alright, so much for that.

But it makes me think about SPACE and traveling there.

If you’re a Werewolf and you go to another planet, say Mars, will you turn into a wolf when there is a full moon or Mars or will you keep to our own Earthly full moon cycle? Or will you turn into a wolf with green fur? Or will you not turn into a wolf at all? Or will you just die alone on a barren red rock with a bunch of people who don’t understand you?

Space travel for Vampires is impractical to say the least. If you go to Mars, from what I’ve heard, you can’t come back. Maybe after a while, but right now there is not technology to come back. There isn’t technology to get there either but… anyway…

Say you’re a Vampire and you go to Mars. There is a limited food source, maybe a dozen other people at most to start. I’m going to assume that nobody has children up there. So your food supply ages and dies, or just dies without aging. But they die. You’re left cold, alone and hungry forever.

Yes, more people could be sent up to the Red Planet but that is providing the budget holds. While you’re up on Mars all sorts of things can happen down on Earth including budget cuts. Nobody in SciFi movies talk about budgets. I bet Capt. Kirk had a budget. Budgets aren’t sexy or violent (usually) so nobody thinks about them. But budgets are real.

So meanwhile down on Earth the budgets are cut and everybody is left on Mars high and dry. If you’re a Vampire don’t go to Mars. Space exploration budgets are in a sorry state. It is unfortunate but true.

On the other hand if you find yourself on a luxury starship with five hundred others I’d say go for it. There will be big budgets and plenty to eat.

Again, this is why I don’t write Science Fiction because I can’t keep my mind on the science part. I understand and respect the science, but I’m more of a paranormal romance kind of gal when it comes to making up stories.

I suppose Ghosts could go up into space if they wanted to. Witches in space? Maybe. Oh I’m sure there are hundreds of Space Witch stories out there. I think Lush may have a Space Witch bath bomb.

Amazing Stories Naked people oh no

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was looking at the stars last night. The ambient light seemed dimmer than usual so the stars seemed to shine brighter. When I look at the stars they are so far off but at the same time the night sky is so familiar. It is always there and always ours. It is whatever dream and vision we want it to be. It is proof that we aren’t alone.

I know the constellations that I was taught as a child – the same ones that the Greeks and others thought up centuries ago. My brother Aaron knows all of them.

We are so excited to visit a dusty gray ball and a huge red rock in the sky, but nobody, that we know of, wants to visit us on our beautiful blue ball that teems with variety and life. That might be because most of the planet is occupied by the assholes I mentioned earlier.

Then I look out my window at my yard full of citrus trees in full bloom with sweet orange and lemon blossoms. I can hear the bees and humming birds going about their business. The larger oak trees grown around as if protecting their smaller cousins. A calico cat sits in the doorway listening to the song birds and thinking about lunch. Who wouldn’t want to be here? I’ll make coffee.

Adventure in a Cup

Adventure in a Cup

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

FLASH UPDATE: About two hours after I posted this Science Friday featured, what else but, MARS and people traveling to Mars and the budget. I kid you not, I had no idea, but I proved my point. It was pretty interesting. They also discussed water on other planets/moons. CLICK HERE for the Science Friday story.

Southern Mars

Southern Mars

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Captain Sandy and the Airship at the End of the World

Captain Sandy and the Airship at the End of the World

The end of the world had come and gone a long time ago. Of course I wouldn’t dare remind Captain Sandy of that extraordinary fact. He stood in the basket of the airship, hands on the control, the tails of his jacket blowing in the wind.

When the end of the world came the evil and the damned were gathered up and taken down to Hell. The pure and righteous were led up to Heaven in a golden white light.

That left the artists and writers, along with a lot of musicians, wine makers, computer programmers and antiques dealers. Of course there were others, but nobody that lacked a certain amount of creative or innovative spirit. One must have spirit and imagination to survive when the world ends without you.

It worked for me. Well, at least most of the time.

I honestly have to say, the world had become way too serious. I adjusted my goggles and scarf as I looked down on the tire fire that had been burning for the past 100 years. Adjusting the leather hood on my cat, I took him out of his basket to take a look. My five year old son Aaron stood on his toes to get a look as I held tight to the back of his jacket. I must have been a sight, boy in one hand, cat in the other.

Life was an adventure to be savored and enjoyed. It was a destroyed world being built up by those of us with visions of beauty and wonder. Captain Sandy always said this was Heaven. Of course I never told him otherwise. It was Heaven to be in the arms of my husband at night and feel the touch of his skin on mine, that is until I’d run my hand over the deep scars on his back. I called him my fallen angel. He would just laugh and kiss me as only an angel could kiss. Maybe it was Heaven for him since he was now dead, but I will never know unless I die too and find him there.

Once when I was younger my brother and I found some old movies in where everyone at the end of the world were driving big trucks and dune buggies as they shot anyone they came across. There were zombies and crazy fucks of all sorts fighting for the last clean water. It seemed they had unlimited amounts of fuel and bullets. No word of steam, solar and silent airships.

My brother and I laughed at the stupidity of it all. That was not our world. Ours was a world to create without hesitation or critical review. Our poets were considered as important as our politicians. Our sense of style always outweighed our sense of practicality. At least we kept telling ourselves that – all of us did as we banded together trying to give off an air of hope and strength. We created our own world going back to a time that didn’t really exist, where all things were possible and the modern world was still a beautiful dream.

Captain Sandy asked me what I was thinking that could have me looking so serious.

I told him and he just shook his head.

“Life isn’t a theater play like you make it out to be my dear. There are dangerous things out in dark areas of stench and smoke that would enslave us and make us into meals if they could. You’ve been protected in your leather and velvet bustle dresses and fanciful thoughts. It’s a good thing to be ignorant of the world but it is dangerous in ways you can’t imagine.”

“Captain,” I said, “you forget that the shadows took my husband. I take flights of fancy so I won’t fall out of the sky and die of sorrow.”

He turned and gave me a quick smile. Despite the dark pattern of scars on the left side of his face the Captain was still a handsome man with a dazzling smile. All the women were quick to notice him.

“Why are you alone Captain?”

“I’m not.”

“No wife or children?”

“I had a wife. She vanished when the world ended. I never knew if she went up or down or just vanished to dust. Who knows. The bitch could still be around somewhere.”

“So you’re alone,” I said.

“Just free of my wife.” He said nothing else then took off his hat and tied his long prematurely silver hair back with a ribbon he’d pulled from his coat pocket. “So, did you like movies back in the time before?”

I nodded. Of course I liked movies. Most of them were gone now. Rare stashes of films could be found and if we were lucky we’d find something to play them on.

Captain Sandy smiled a rare smile at me. “Sometimes I’m floating along above this all, all of this and I start thinking about Blade Runner and then my mind goes to Casablanca or off to Princess Bride then to In the Heat of the Night. I can run them all in my head, every line, every scene, every music score.”

I told him I did the same. We tend not to talk a lot about the time before the end of the world, but occasionally it comes out. We can’t deny our past. We just can’t help it.

“What did you do before, you know, the end of the world?” I asked the Captain point blank.

“I was a high school physics teacher. Physics and engineering to be exact. What did you do?”

“I produced reality TV shows. The last one was for MTV. Did you ever see Love Bytes?”

He laughed. “That was you? All of my students watched that show. Geeks and romance. A lot of them wanted to be on the show.”

The sky gradually started to turn dark. In the distance we could see lightning strike and the silhouettes of other airships.

I hugged my child and put a blanket around his shoulders. Aaron put his head on my lap and fell asleep. Captain Sandy sang softly a song that we both knew so long ago.

It seemed we’d been here for centuries, only the children aging and growing up.

As a rule we didn’t speak much of what we missed or how much. It was always there in the back of our minds. I missed skinny jeans and sweaters. I missed short tight dresses and yoga at the gym. I missed the music. I missed my friends and family. I missed my job. I even missed the orange trees in my back yard and the sound of the garbage truck at 6:45 am on Thursday mornings. I missed it all.

Captain Sandy turned suddenly and looked at me as if he could read my mind. “Don’t think of how things used to be. Don’t think of why we’re here.”

We both knew why we were here. Nobody wanted us. There was no place for us in Heaven but nobody in Hell wanted us either.

“You’ve got to admit,” the Captain continued, “we’re in a unique position. No matter how bad it looks, this is our world. I spent 18 years teaching kids to understand the building blocks of the universe. I thought I was contributing to the future of our young people so that they would make the world a better place.”

“Now it doesn’t matter,” I said in a rare show of depression over the events that brought us here.

“No. Now it matters more than ever. This is our world. Despite the shadows and ghouls, this is our world now, free and clear. We can still use the building blocks of science and art to make it the place we want it to be. Finally we can do it right.”

“You’re always such an optimist Captain Sandy but do you really believe that?”

“Of course I do. What other choice do I have?”

“You have a point,” I said, noticing the spark in his eyes.

He noticed that I’d noticed. “Look at this as the ultimate reality TV show.”

“If that is the case then who, Captain Sandy, gets the hot girl at the end?”

He smiled. “That depends on you.” Then he turned his face away from me to where I could only see the moon lit reflection of the scars that traced his jawline.

The crew of the airship came up on deck to view the stars and take in the night air. It was good to see them laugh and talk freely of the destination ahead. My son raised his sleepy head and laughed too. Maybe it wasn’t that bad after all. Maybe Captain Sandy would win the game and get the girl. I had a pretty good feeling he would.

 

~ Juliette Kings 2014

 

Ready to Fly

 

Coming Soon...

Coming Soon…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alternate Routes

My kids love to laugh about my driving, or at least the many times we’ve taken the scenic route due to wrong turns and missed turns and complete turn arounds.

Years ago I was traveling across England by myself. I was going from I believe Banbury to Bath. When I stopped at my connection I had no idea which train to get on. None of the signs said Bath. None of the signs looked like any English I’d ever seen. So I asked a man in  the window, the ticket man, where I should go. He asked me to repeat myself. I just assumed he couldn’t understand my American accent. Then I asked him to repeat his directions to me three times. I couldn’t understand a word he said. The accent was local but I wasn’t even sure where local was. The connection name sounded long and I was going to Bath, which is short. So I took my chances on a train that was going to a town with a 34 letter name (or so it seemed.) The only other people on the train was a happy group of Italians who spoke no English at all. At the time I only knew a few words in Italian. What I did get from them was that they were not sure where they were going either. I could have ended up anywhere. At that point it didn’t seem to even matter. It was a happy ride despite the bitter January cold. The train finally stopped, in Bath.

I think of all the wrong turns I’ve taken in my life. Some have been scary, some frustrating, some filled with wonderful surprises.

I wanted to be an actress, a writer of children’s books, a clothing designer, an illustrator of Gothic fantasy, a stand up comic, a writer of best selling novels and so many other things, but ended up taking wrong turns.

Then again, I write an odd Vampire blog, my short stories have a following, I’m an illustrator, an artist, a lover, a wife, a mom, and someone who is about to yell at the cat for sticking his fuzzy face in my coffee.

The detours, be it to a giant hole in the ground, a park, an unexpected view or a new friend are worth those wrong turns. Maybe not so much wrong turns as alternate routes.

The destinations in life are great, but I do love the journey, even if i don’t know where I’m going most of the time. I’m a good traveler on this road of life.

Join me. It will be fun and I always like the company.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

vsi

 

 

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/wrong-turns/

Ode to a Greek God

Sometimes the unexpected comes your way, be it in a memory or a lost object found. You think you can go back and take what is yours… but you never know what might happen.

This was posted here a while back but it is one of my favorites so I’m posting it again. A special “guest” author.

~ Juliette

Ode to a Greek God

A story by Marla Todd

I’ve been 6000 years at the top of my game. I knew it was too good to last.

I’m having breakfast on my deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean with the perfect amount of salty warm breeze drifting over me.  A beautiful redheaded woman is still in my bed and I can still feel the warmth of her skin against mine. Fortunately she’ll be gone in an hour.

Anyway, I’m having coffee and some amazing cheese and apple pastries my son dropped off this morning.  I’m also checking out a box Pan had dropped off with the pastries. That’s my son Pan, the famous happy-go-lucky satyr who dances through the woods making merry. That’s over. He settled down about 150 years ago with a wood nymph named Gloria and they’ve been keeping domestic bliss ever since. I never thought I’d see the day. Anyway, they were cleaning out some closets and found some stuff I’d swiped a few years ago. Thirty-four years ago to be exact.

It looked like I’d gone into the backpack of a college girl. I’d been in college mode that year for a change of pace. I was young, buffed and blue eyed and a killer smile. Female heads all turned in my direction.

In the box was a silver hair clip in the shape of a flowering tree branch, a delicate sexy lacy cream-colored underwire bra size 32C, a sea shell and a folded up piece of college ruled notebook paper. I unfolded the paper and read the words that would change my life.

It was a poem. It was in a round girlish script written in blue felt tip pen. No name identified the writer. I started to read, expecting the usually silly girlish babble about the meaning of life, teen angst and the horrible nature of never being understood.  What I read was something else entirely.

As I stood upon the steps,

Halfway between the land and sea

The messenger god Hermes

Came to me,

Swift footed and bright

But somewhat overtaken

By his cousin Dionysus’ last visit

He brought me a message

And I read it through his blue eyes

“I bring you myself” he said.

No answer came from my lips

Except a kiss,

Which spoke very clear.

Oh happy was I,

When hand in hand

Under the stars we ran

For my mythical Hermes

Turned into a man

I took a gulp of coffee and stared at the poem.  A poem about me? People had written poems about me, of course, but this was personal.  It was a poem about ME, not a god of tales and lore but about ME, Hermes. It was about ME.

This girl knew me.  I mean she KNEW me. She knew who I was. How? I never let on to any mortal to who or what I am. Never.

She wrote me a poem. It wasn’t a great poem. It wasn’t even a good poem. It wasn’t epic. But by my father Zeus, it was tender and sweet, full of the promise of love. It was happy. It was from her heart. A heart that considered me more than just a good body and maybe a great fuck, if I did indeed fuck her. I know I must have kissed her. I must have made love to her, because a girl who wrote the poem would never just fuck a guy.  She’d have made love to me in a way I should have remembered, but damn it I couldn’t remember a thing.

A kiss. I tried to recall it. Such a kiss I should have remembered. It should have burned on my lips. It should have taken my immortal breath away. I sat going through all of the dusty file drawers in my brain trying to remember, but NOTHING came to mind.

Don’t get me wrong. I am usually NOT the romantic type. I love women but I refuse to be the kind of guy or god who is going to turn into a jellied mass of so much romantic bullshit over just any female. Or am I? My stomach knotted up. My head spun. My heart started to beat fast. I thought I was going to throw up.

By the way, I am Hermes, the messenger God. I go by a lot of names but my friends and family and people who worship me call me Hermes. The Romans called me Mercury, but that is a completely different story, one I’d like not to bring up right at this moment.

So I close my eyes and THINK.  34 years. I’m trying to get a face. A location. Who the hell wrote that poem? There was a ski trip to Aspen and another to Tahoe.  An uneventful week in Miami brought back no memories. Of course there were trips to Greece and Paris.  The summer was spent in San Francisco and a little north of there was the beach house. Fall brought on New York and Boston. I was in Vermont for the holidays with my family (I know what you’re thinking and yes, we do get together for the holidays just like any other large dysfunctional family).

I heard a car start and looked back to the side of the house. The redhead drove away in her red BMW. I wouldn’t see her again. She got what she wanted and was happy. Fine with me.

Up the drive walks my cousin Dionysus, who happens to be staying at my brother Apollo’s place next door. There again, he was the PARTY GOD. Now he turned into Mr. Bottle Shock. Always going up to Napa, Sonoma, Amador or jetting over to France, Australia, and all corners of the Earth for wine tastings. The guy has been going on about Lodi wines lately so much that I wanted to smack him until I tried them. He was right; it was the nectar of the God’s. But really – Lodi? Have you been to Lodi? Despite all of that he’s still my best friend.

He read the poem. “Halfway between the land and the sea. She was at the beach house you dork.”

“Do you remember her?”

“Yes I remember her.”

“Who was she?”

“Miranda. Quiet girl with the pretty blue-green eyes. She was cute enough.”

“I’m trying but I don’t have a face yet.”

Dionysus poured himself a cup of coffee, added about a gallon of milk to it and half a cup of sugar before sitting down. “She drove a beat up old MG Midget. You talked cars. She was impressed by your Porsche. The two of you hung out all weekend making small talk. Saturday night you went for a walk on the beach and she had sex with you. You thought she was sweet. Remember, she was getting ready to go off to UCLA for the fall. You told her you were going to Harvard.”

Pictures, smells, sound and feelings started to flood my brain.

“She’d been there for several weekends. We always ended up talking on the porch.” I said as images started to come back into my brain.

“Right. She liked you a lot but she didn’t come out and hunt you like the other chicks always did. It wasn’t until that last weekend that you acted on it.”

I remembered.  She was a cute, somewhat pretty 17 year old girl with long brown hair and aqua marine eyes. At a party she wouldn’t have been the girl all the guys were after, but I noticed her. Well, she noticed me first.  She started out talking to me about cars. From cars we talked about the tides and the ocean and movies and music and school. She wanted to travel to Nepal and spend time in Europe. Most of her friends were moving on to different colleges but she seemed all right with it.  Her mind was set towards the future. I liked her company but she didn’t indicate at all that she wanted true love or a lasting relationship.

We’d walked on the beach. I’d made a few jokes and she’d laughed. She said a few things that were so funny it surprised me. I kissed her and a few hours later we made love by the base of a cliff in a private isolated area of the beach. She didn’t howl at the moon or put on a show. She wasn’t a virgin either.

Miranda let me take the lead but followed with quiet perfection. She lost herself quietly in the moment (which by the way lasted a good hour) and in me and didn’t ask for more. She could kiss too and had an amazing body. What more could a young man want?

We walked back to the house with all of our friends and she never said a word about it. The next morning she gave me her number and said, “Call me”, knowing full well the chances of me doing that were slim to none.

I never called her back.

Now I sat alone in my anguished romantic hell.  She’d written a poem that morning and I’d stolen it along with a few other items to remember my lovely weekend. The god of thieves had taken a token of love she dared not share with me and for 34 years I had no idea what she’d written on that piece of folded up note paper.

“Where is she now?” I asked Dionysius, knowing if he didn’t know he’d find out.

He pulled out a large wine glass; the big kind used for reds and filled it with water.

“Take a look Hermes. But you might not like what you find. I guarantee you that one like her isn’t sitting around pining for the boy who got away.”

Images and information started to swirl in the glass. And I guarantee you, it sounds primitive, but you get a lot better information in a wine glass than you’ll ever get on Google.

Miranda had earned a doctorate degree in Genetics from UCLA and an MBA from Stanford. She was currently the Director of Development for a biotech firm in Northern California. The husband was an advocate for foster youth and has been a public defender for 20 years. They’d produced two lovely children, one of each. 11 year old girl and 13 year old boy. Both in swim club, good students, get along, popular, no problems. Lots’ of friends with kids, vacations and barbeques. Her home is in a fairly upscale neighborhood but not too pretentious. They go wine tasting a lot and like to cook. My kind of mortals if you don’t mind me saying. The husband even built sort of a wine cellar in the basement. She also likes to build garden sculptures but the visuals were blurred.

“Like whirly gigs?” I asked, thinking of pink flamingos with wildly spinning wings and little figures of men chopping wood. The idea was too weird to digest.

“Kinetic yes, but more large found items, tiles, wood, paint.” Answered my cousin.

“Like the Watt Towers?”

“Not that extreme. More like something out of Sunset Magazine. Understated with a touch of rustic charm.”

Enough of the garden shit. “What’s the relationship like with the husband? What is he? Some middle-aged Viagra popper?”

Dion gave me a smile, like the kind you’d give someone who just said something incredibly stupid. “Hermes, I’m surprise in you. The husband doesn’t need Viagra. He functions quite well on his own.”

“I didn’t need to know that. Did she ever write HIM a poem?”

“The husband? No. You’re the only one she has ever written about.”

“Does she still write anything?”

“She just finished a novel. It’s a mystery romance sort of deal.”

“Can you get me a copy?”

“Sure. I’ll call her up tonight and ask her to email it to me.” He said with a slight touch of sarcasm in his voice.

“Am I in it?” I asked too urgently, hoping the answer would be a definite YES.

“I have no idea but I seriously doubt it.”

“Is she looking to publish it?”

“As we speak. This is her dream Herm. She wants to be published before her kids get into high school so she can be home more with them.”

How could any woman with such a romantic soul, who wrote a poem to a god end up where she was I wondered? “What the fuck is she doing in Biotech?” I asked my cousin.

Dionysus shrugged. “A growing and diverse field with fulfilling opportunities to make the world a better place. She loves it but after 25 years of it she is ready to move on, maybe be a consultant but her family is everything to her.”

I looked into the glass again and saw her as she is now. The brown hair was a little shorter falling slightly below her shoulders, now lighter with blonde highlights. She was dressed stylishly in one of those cute little sweater sets all the women are wearing with a slim skirt and flats with bows. She wore bows on her shoes, a fact that turned my body to so much more jelly. I remember she always wore some bit of fluff or frill along with her Levis and rag wool sweaters. The aqua marine eyes sparkled with little signs of aging. She laughed out loud filling the room with joy. How could someone be so happy working in a science lab? How could someone be so happy without me?

The glass told me that she is known for her humor and mirth. I hardly saw any of it 34 years ago. How could I have been so blind?

To make matters worse was the fact that she was lovely. Fifty one years of lovely female bliss aged to perfection – like the most exquisite and complex wine ever made. She was something to be savored. She was something to be lingered over and enjoyed slowly with great appreciation. I wanted her so bad I ached.

I’m not the kind of guy, or god for that matter, who turns himself into an animal (like dear old dad) to trick a woman. I’m not going to do anything to hurt or use a woman. If a woman wants to use me, then fine, I’ll let her, but that doesn’t make me a bad guy. But I guess I was the perfect asshole to Dr. Miranda Wilkenson Hobbs. She wrote me a poem and I never called her.

I looked up at my cousin. “What was it like before she met the perfect husband?

He shrugged. “She traveled a bit. Worked a lot. Dated a lot. Had a couple of serious relationships but nothing she couldn’t walk away from. She met her husband 16 years ago at a party.”

“Did she write him a poem?” I asked.

“No. Nothing.”

“Nothing.  Any hang ups with old boyfriends?”

“None. She’s still friends with a few. They’re all married with kids. Nothing unusual. She didn’t write them any poetry either.”

I conjured up an image of the husband in the glass. Average to nice looking middle-aged man. Full head of black hair, sparkling bright blue eyes, slightly crooked nose but with one of those warm and fuzzy charm filled smiles that women love.  Nice slightly better than average guy who could in no way compare to me. No way. Not enough for her to write him poetry. Asshole bastard.

During the following weeks I pulled strings and called in favors that sent Miranda’s book right into the waiting hands of Bryan Woods, literary agent extraordinaire. By the way, Bryan Woods was the name I went by when I spent those weekends at the beach house 34 years ago.

When she received my call I couldn’t believe how good it was to hear that lovely voice.  Why of course she could meet me. Where? I made arrangements in San Francisco. She’d have to drive to the big city which was A) always a treat for her and, B) a few hours from her home and away any distractions, C) a most romantic spot for seduction.

It was a beautiful day in the city with clear skies and a high of 68 degrees F.  I wore gray Armani and my Rolex Daytona (yellow gold), and of course a Hermes tie.  The blonde highlights in my hair were perfect and natural. The smile was a zillion watts. The eyes sparkled blue as a Maxfield Parrish sky.

I picked a restaurant with impeccable service and food, an excellent wine list and a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Exactly at noon Miranda showed up. She scanned the room and saw me with a slight hint of recognition.  She’d dressed carefully with thought as women do. A flattering and pretty pink tweed suit over a pink silk blouse with high t-strap shoes that was so classic and sexy I nearly laughed out loud with joy.

She smiled and took my outstretched hand. I took her back to our table. There was the usual required small talk about the drive over, the weather, etc etc etc.

We ordered wine and food. I told her how impressed I was with her book. By the way, I was impressed. The woman could write a story. We spoke of publishing and possible options and contracts. I told her I could see a movie deal coming out of all of it. No lies there. After a flurry of animated conversation we suddenly stopped.

Then she looked at me with slightly squinted eyes and asked “Have we met before?”

I said “The beach house.”

“Oh my goodness. That is you.” She said looking slightly embarrassed.

“We made love on the beach.”

She glanced down unable to meet my eyes for a moment then took a sip of wine and looked up at me again. “We were just kids. Wow that was a long time ago. Small world. Um, it’s good to see you again. You’ve obviously done well for yourself”.

“So have you dear Miranda.”  I put the piece of notepaper with the poem in front of her. “Read it.”

She read it but her reaction wasn’t what I thought it would be.

“Where did you get this?” she demanded.

“I took it from your backpack.”

“It wasn’t yours to take.”

“You wrote it about me.”

“Just because we…Bryan, this was private. You betrayed my trust in the absolute worst way.”

“It’s Hermes.”

“It wasn’t yours to take.”

“I’m Hermes. My real name is Hermes, not Bryan.  On some level you had to know. Tell me you knew.”

It was as if she didn’t hear a word I said. “Yes, it was about you but the poem was mine,” she said.  “You were not supposed to see it.” She was clearly upset, not in a crying angry way but in a calm and collected rage.

“How did you know?” I asked calmly trying to sooth and comfort her.

“Because you shrugged it of the next day like nothing ever happened. I really liked you a lot but oh well. Shit happens.”

I took her hand. “But it did happen Miranda. You and me. You wrote a poem about us.”

“Guess what?  It happened a long time ago. I’m not that girl anymore.” She said obviously not following my lead as she pulled her hand away from mine.

“Obviously. How did you know that I am Hermes?”

“You were cute and light on your feet. You made me think of Hermes. Jeeze Bryan. Is that why I’m here? If this isn’t about my book…”

I put my hand on hers again. “I didn’t mean to upset you. But yes, Miranda, I am the messenger god Hermes. Hear me out.  I only use the name Bryan Woods when I mix with mortals. Your poem touched me to the very soul and to my bones in a way that nothing else has ever touched me. Nobody has ever written anything so personal to me or about me before. I’m sorry I over looked you. I am sorry I never called back. I’m sorry that it has taken so long for me to tell you that I love you.”

“I should go.” She said trying to pull her hand away and starting to stand up.

“No” I said still holding her hand as I transported her to another time and place.

I took her to a beach. The air was cool and breezy not too cold. She wore a sweeping filmy dress of lavender and white that highlighted her curves. Her hair was slightly blown by an ocean breeze. She was bare footed. I wore a romantic poet’s shirt, sleeves rolled up, half way open to show my spectacular chest.

Against the cliff was a bed piled high with romantic white on white pillows and flowing curtains off of high bedposts. Pink garlands of fresh roses wound around the bedposts. It was one of her dream sort of things.

Miranda looked around 360 at her surroundings, completely ignoring me. Her eyes squinted at the sight of the bed.  She turned to me with a total lack of expression on her lovely face except for an angry fire in her aqua marine eyes.

I put my arm around her waist and pulled her close then buried my face in her hair. “It’s been too long”. I said.

She pushed herself away. “What the hell is going on? Did you put something in my drink?”

“I told you I’m Hermes. You’re in my world now.” I said.

I grabbed her wrists. I would have her and she would submit and enjoy ever bit of it and then be glad that she was mine. Or so I thought. She twisted to get away and stomped on my foot. We lost balance and went down to the sand. I was still holding her wrists as I landed on top of her. I could have taken her then and there as I lay between her legs, but I didn’t. Not with Miranda.

“Let’s move it to the bed.” I said gently, my lips meeting hers.

“No, I’m not going to do this. Please. Don’t make me do this.” Tears welled in her eyes. I felt a knot in my stomach and then a wave of nausea swept over me.  I rolled over onto my back letting her go. The day was not going as planned.

She got up and walked down the beach a ways then stopped dead in her tracks. She stared at the surf. The sea serpents were out there wrestling. They’re as big as humpback whales with all the teeth, big eyes and claws one expects from them. She froze, and then looked back at me.

“Sea serpents.” I said catching up with her. “Listen Miranda, I’m really sorry. Yes, I’m an arrogant son of a bitch. When I read the poem I thought just for a moment that, no it was more than a moment.  Nobody has ever cared like that.”

She didn’t hear a word I said as she stood transfixed on the sea serpents. They roared and crashed into each other in kitten-like play. Green, blue and gold scales sparkled in the sunlight.

I put my arm around her shoulders. “Pretty magnificent creatures aren’t they?”

“Will they come after us?”

“No. They pretty much stay to themselves.”

“This is amazing.  Are they real?”

I turned her around and looked into her face. “Yes, they’re as real as I am.” Taking her face in my hands I kissed her. She didn’t fight me, but didn’t exactly jump in my arms either.

“We’re at that point between the earth and the sea.” I kissed her again. She stepped back and crossed her arms. This was going to be more difficult than I thought.

“You’re Hermes, the god Hermes.”

“Yes. I am Hermes.”

“You’re real.”

“I am.”

I expected her to kiss me or something now that she realized who and what I was. She turned away from me and looked at the sea serpents again then looked back at me.

“I wish my kids could see this.”

“My children always loved it when I took them to see the sea serpents. They still do.” I said suddenly thinking that I’d done well by my children and their mothers. In these modern times we’d be a typical blended family. Go figure. Miranda didn’t say anything but kept looking out to the sea.

“This could all be part of your life Miranda. Few mortals ever see this. I’m willing to make you part of this.”

“I can’t.”

“You’d give up immortality?”

She gave me a look that would have killed any red blooded mortal. I watched her take off again down the beach.

I suddenly understood that she’d never love me in the way I wanted her too. Honestly I did. Of course understanding and acceptance are two different things.  I ran after her and caught her by the arm spinning her around to face me.

“Miranda stop.” I said trying to reason with her.

“What about my book?” She demanded.

“What about it?” I spat back at her.

“Did you like it or were you just saying that to get me here?”

“It could be a best seller.”

She glared at me. “I won’t sleep with you to get it published.”

I was slightly offended but saw her point. “That isn’t good business Miranda, you should know that. Your book is good enough to publish without sex.”

“I know it is. But as my agent can you get me a good deal and top posting on Amazon and book and posters in the window of Barnes and Noble? Can you get me on the best seller lists? Can you get me an interview with the New York Times and NPR?”

“I’m your agent now?” I asked.

“Yes, I mean don’t you want to be?” She asked looking at me like I was stupid or something.

“What about your biotech job?”

“I’ll keep working until the royalty checks start coming in,” she snapped.

I put my hand on her shoulder, ever so gently. “I’ll get you a six figure advance. You can quit your job tomorrow if you want.”

Her face softened. I could feel her shoulders relaxing. “Really? You’d do that?”

“Of course I would. I’ll be your agent but you have to do something for me.” If I couldn’t have her love, I’d get something almost as good out of her.

She squinted her eyes up at me. “What?”

“You have to write about me.”

“Poetry?”

“Books. The modern adventures of an ancient god.”

“I can do that.”

“I’ll have the contracts drawn up. I believe you’ll like the terms.”

“I’m sure I will.”

“One day I will make love to you again.”

She finally smiled. “Don’t count on it.”

“Let’s go back.” I closed my eyes and when they were open we were back in San Francisco. The restaurant (which by the way I own) was empty of any other customers and fresh blackberry pie and fresh made vanilla ice cream was on the table along with coffee. The sun was starting to set over the San Francisco Bay. We talked about our lives and our kids for about another hour or two. It was so easy with the elder Miranda.

“You’re going to get caught in some pretty nasty traffic.” I told her in my most concerned and caring voice. “You can stay the night here with me.”

“It’s ok,” she said,”I have a couple of audio books in the car.”

I walked her out to her car, a blue 2010 Mustang convertible. I should have known she’d still have a convertible.

I didn’t want to let her go. “Miranda, I’m sorry I was a jerk. I didn’t know how you felt about me. Another time and place and we could have…”

She put her finger to her lips as if telling a child to be quiet. “Listen, Bryan, I mean Hermes, I’m sorry it didn’t work out the way you imagined it but I have a good feeling about this, about us. I really do and we’ll make a good partnership and maybe even become friends. I take that back. We will become friends. Okay?”

Friends usually means the kiss of death in a relationship but not this one.

“You’ll write about me.” I said, not as a question.

“I will write about you Hermes.” She put her hand on my waist, stood on her toes and kissed me. “I will write wonderful things about you that everyone will want to read.”

I opened the car door for her. “I’ll fax over the contracts in the morning. Drive safe Miranda.”

Late into the wee hours of the morning I sat on the balcony overlooking the Bay and thought of her kiss that lingered on my lips.  The messenger god Hermes had indeed turned into a man.

Tangled Tales
Tangled Tales
~ Thanks for stopping by,
Juliette aka Vampire Maman

If you need something done ask a busy person (again)

First posted May 30, 2013. I’m still busy – way too busy. 

If you need something done ask a busy person.

I’m glad summer is coming because it will mean not having to drag my nocturnal teens out of bed. I swear, not all teens are Vampires, but all teens are nocturnal. They sleep. They sleep like rocks (if rocks sleep). They don’t wake up. Their ears shut down. On the other hand, a lot of teens shut off their ears most of the time with the exception of other teens and music…but that isn’t the point here.

I will be happy when summer comes in a few weeks and I won’t have to do the morning scene. The morning scene means gently waking the angels then it finally escalates to yelling and threats to ground them for weeks.

So like most moms I’m in a perpetual state of motion. I have my kids, my work, my marriage, my home, my pets, other family members to take care of – so I guess that means I have it ALL. Sure. We all have it all. And we do it without high priced nannies; housekeepers, personal assistants and most moms do it on a tight budget. Anyway…

So, with so little time I get a call. One of THOSE calls from my brother Max. He is at home, 90 miles away in San Francisco.  He says there is trouble out my way and needs me to take care of it RIGHT NOW.

I’m home alone with my 17-year-old son. My brother Max is in Enforcement, which means his job is to keep Vampire Hunters, Rogue Vampires and other unsavory character in check. But sometimes, when things are busy, he needs a little help. And that is why he called me.

“Isn’t there someone else who can do this?” I was perplexed. Next I rattled off a list of names of other Vampires who were far more suited (in my opinion) for the enforcement task than a 5’4” inch Vampire mom and her inexperienced 17 year old son.

No of course not. Everyone else was busy. Really? They were ALL busy? Every large hard-bodied Vampire male in the area was busy (this includes two of my other brothers and my husband (on a field trip with our daughter.)

“But you’re trained at this kind of thing.” That is the excuse my brother used.  I’m trained. Sure, but I don’t do this sort of thing for a living.

I yelled up the stairs at Garrett (aged 17 and acts like it). I yelled again. I yelled a third time. I went up to his room where he had the music blasting, computer up, phone going with three conversations and hunkered down on the bed with a cat. Only the dog who sat in the middle of the floor looked up when I came in the room. I flicked the lights on and off.

“Put on your shoes. We’re going out.”

He looked confused. “Where.”

“Hunting for your Uncle Max.”

“Enforcement?”

“Enforcement. And I’m taking you with me. How about that?”

“Cool. Um, mom?”

“Yes?”

“You have a button missing from your shirt.”

Crap. One more thing. It is always one more thing. About 20 one more things make me late every single day to just about everywhere.

OK. Change shirt. Find keys. Grab purse. Grab phone. Throw a few basic supplies in the trunk and away we go. Thank goodness I filled the tank up with gas last night.

We’re driving towards the designated location. I ask my son, “Did you get all your homework done?”

“I did it at school,” he answers wanting to roll his eyes but not daring to do so. “So mom, what’s this about?”

“A rogue Vampire. Maybe a Ren. I didn’t have many details.”

“What are we going to do?”

“I don’t know. We have to check it out.”

“Is it safe?”

“I don’t know. I doubt it.” I sort of shrugged, the way mothers know how to do.

“Of course it isn’t safe,” said a voice from the back seat. It was the Ghost. Nigel who haunts me and drives me nuts was in my car. “You’re going after a dangerous soulless creatures with no morals, no values and no fear.  So needless to say I had to come along to help.”

I stopped to pick up my sister-in-law Verity (my brother Aaron’s wife). She looks like Botticelli’s Venus only wearing a pink sweater set and jeans.

“You have a ghost in your car.” She said that as she got into the front, and Garrett climbed into the back.

“No shit,” said Nigel, not taken in by her beauty. “Are all Vampires this rude?”

Verity gave Nigel a fanged hiss. He just rolled his eyes back at her.

I explained that it was ok to have a ghost along and that it wasn’t all a bad thing. Well, except for the fact that Nigel didn’t shut up the entire time there.

Just about the only thing that can shut up a ghost is music so I turned up the volume and opened the sunroof for a view of the stars (for mood and some fresh air.)

Three Vampires and the ghost driving into the night on our way to kill Rogue Vampires singing along with the soundtrack of Across the Universe.

We get to our location, an abandoned industrial area. You know, the kind with old buildings with small blocked or broken windows along the roof line, cut chain link fences, overgrown weeds, no lights, broken bottles and rats scattering unseen to most eyes. This is so stupid that I just want to scream.

I go to the largest building as instructed. There are large roll up doors in 5 bays and one regular door with a regular knob. I go there first and listen. Garrett follows like my shadow. I can sense excitement in him and a good dose of fear. This is a first for him – finding a real rogue Vampire.

The door is locked. I concentrate and break the lock (yes, I can do that. Pretty neat trick.

I open the door and smell the stench of old blood and unwashed bodies and that horrible rotten meat smell that makes just about any creature, except scavengers want to puke.

A couple of figures are lounging on some beat up furniture they’ve collected in a corner. A nasty looking couch and a couple of armchairs – the kind you find on the side of the road with “FREE” signs on them. No Gothic Vampire chic here. This is a dumpster dive.

One stands. The other just cranes a pale face around and stares. The standing one approaches. Oh for God’s sake, why did my brother send me here? I know this guy. On a slime scale of 1-10 he is a 25.

He gives me a fang filled smile and grins at me. “Jewels! Long time no see.”

I’m looking at a Vampire, about 5’7″ dressed in black, dark hair pulled back, sauntering towards me. He might have once been handsome by now he looked like a meth head from Hell. He walked up to me and put his hand to my face.

I motioned for Garrett to stay back. Verity comes and stands next to me, blonde hair flowing behind her like she’s in a photo shoot for Victoria’s Secret. Nigel is nowhere to be seen.

I knew this Rogue creature, once upon a time, when he had a soul. His name was Tad. He’d once been human but those days were long gone. He’d once been a decent Vampire until he turned rogue. OK he’d never been a decent Vampire. He was scum to start with and it was a shame, but I was beyond feeling sorry for him or even caring. As far as I was concerned he was already dead – and for all practical purposes he was dead.

His dead flat eyes looked me up and down like some sort of demonic pervert. “Let me drink you in Jewels. Do you know how long it has been since I’ve been with a respectable Vampire female? Too long. And you brought your lovely friends. How nice of you.”

I didn’t have time for this. “Listen Tad, I have a million things to do and it’s a school night so I don’t have time for your bull shit. Either you turn yourself in or I’m taking you down. Do you understand?”

“You’re so cute when you talk like that Jewels. Thirsty?” He motioned over to a couple of what looked like teenagers huddled in a corner.  Holy crap, I had no idea he had regular humans in here.

Then he grabbed me by the waist and pulled me close. His claw like nails grabbed my skin under my shirt. His eyes were dead. No soul.

“Souls are cheap and keeping them is expensive,” he hissed in my ear with nasty wake-the-dead breath.

He had me tight in his grip. I twisted around and slammed him to the ground. I might be small but I’m well trained. There was no Matrix style theatrics with us jumping in the air or super fast Vampire leaps and bounds. That only happens in the movies.

Garrett came running and blasted his foot into Tad’s head then grabbed him by the hair and continued to slam. I heard him yelling, “don’t touch my mom.”

I climbed to my feet and grabbed the can of lighter fluid I had in my supplies bag. I doused Tad, then grabbed an ancient sword out of my bag.

I stood with a sword in my right hand and a lit BBQ lighter in my left waiting for Tad to react.

Tad looks at me with a fang filled grin. “Come on Jewels, I wasn’t going to kill them.”

I glared at him and waited to see if he’d give me an excuse to torch him.

“You think you’re better than us. You’ve sold out. You’ve gotten soft. You don’t know what it is like to be a real Vampire anymore.” Tad snarled at me, his fangs gleaming, with dried blood in the corners of his mouth.

I was ready to take off his head when from out of the corner came six more figures, fangs out, along with the one who was sitting on the couch, ready to attack. Eight Rogues? Really Max? What in the world made you think Verity and I, plus a teenager could take them down? My mind raced a hundred miles an hour. I could tell Verity was doing the same. She slid a long dagger out of her boot and took my back. Garrett stood behind up with the lighter fluid and lighter. This wasn’t good at all.

There are always those moments in life when just the right thing happens at the right time – just when you need it. You know, like that unexpected bonus check from work or an upgrade to first class or you find a home for that stray cat you really don’t want to keep.  Now was just one of those moments.

Over our heads was a gust of freezing air and a scream so horrifying and loud that Verity, Garret and I all hit the ground.

stranger in doorA black swirling shadow formed around the Rogue Vampires. A large mouth filled with sharp teeth opened up and sucked them all in. That was followed by a loud belching noise and then…and then, it spit out an assortment of bones, cleaned of any flesh. The bones scattered on the ground then in a flash of light turned to ashes.

We all looked up in shock.

“What the…” said Garrett, grabbing my arm.

Then Nigel the ghost appeared, looking none the worse in a beautifully tailored black suit with a black shirt and tie. “That my darling Vampires was my friend Elizabeth the Banshee.”

A wild looking woman with wilder black hair and glacier blue eyes appeared next to Nigel. She belched again and then said “Well, that was fun. Thanks Nigel for the invitation. Gotta go.” And with another piercing scream she turned into swirling smoke and vanished into the dark.

“What? I told you I’d help you,” said our Ghost.

In the corner of the old dark warehouse we found a young couple chained and huddled together. Their necks were clawed and bruised, their wrists chewed. They were still wearing their dirty and torn prom clothes. They’d vanished from their Southern California Prom night – 700 miles south of us – a week ago. In a small dirty bathroom we found two other teens. One had vanished, also last week while walking home from a guitar lesson, his guitar and his backpack still with him. The other was a girl who’d been taken only a few days ago while walking her dog. They were all frightened and weak.

Verity, Garrett and I all did our best to calm them and with our special Vampire touch we sucked some of the fear from their souls along with most of the horrible memories of the nightmare they’d been through

“Help will come soon.” I told them that in my best mom voice I said as I pulled out a burner phone and called 911. I left the phone with the guitar kid in case they needed to call anyone else. I told Garrett to get the water I’d put in my car, along with some snacks I’d packed, just in case. Finally, Verity and I tended to their wounds and covered them with blankets.

We got out of the building and headed home in silence.

Verity was the first to speak. “He was bad to the core. Freakin serial killer as far as I’m concerned. He would have killed those kids.”

“They could have been from my school.” Garrett said somberly as he looked out the window. At that point I wondered if I should have brought him along.

Nigel appeared in the back seat next to Garrett. “I didn’t know there were really Banshees,” said Verity.

“I didn’t know there were Vampires or Ghosts until I died,” said Nigel. “Hey, your son is at UCLA isn’t he?”

“UCLA School of Law,” answered Verity looking surprised.

“Great school. I graduated from there in 1982. Art.” Nigel smiled. “I’m sure you’ve seen my work. I became quite famous after I died.” And with that, Nigel vanished, leaving only Vampires in the car.

So as we drove home we spoke of quiet things, of life and art and of living in a world that is stranger than anyone can imagine.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

wings